So. Ho hum. I once again wake up to news of multiple shootings around our country. Where’s the shock? Where’s the outrage? When did this horror show become commonplace in our lives? It didn’t used to be like this. People weren’t always so hate-filled, quick to violence, seemingly given a free pass to reign down their own form of Hell on innocent lives. They didn’t terrorize communities, take hostages at gunpoint in the most mundane, thought to be “safe” places. I know I wasn’t so aware of my surroundings at each stop on my daily routine. I wasn’t leery of entering a mall or a large box store. I didn’t hesitate to get out of my car to pump gas or pick up my mail. I didn’t think twice about going to a class or a movie or a restaurant. I do not want to live in this current America. I do not want this to be the new “normal.” I don’t want to see children taught how to escape a “school shooter” situation the same way they are taught science and math. I don’t want them to have to think “Will I make it home today?” I don’t want them to grow up scared about not “Which college do I choose?”, but “Will I be alive to go to college and get married and have my own children?” An entire generation is growing up unaware that this isn’t the only way. They are oblivious to the fact that this is not the usual and normal way to think and to live. And that is NOT ACCEPTABLE! Something has changed. Something is different. There’s an undercurrent of hate, fear, and violence that is usually reserved for movies and video games. But this isn’t an option. We can’t skip the movie or pick a different game to play. This is real life and our reality. It’s “A Clockwork Orange” on steroids. And it has to end! None of us know how long we will be here. We don’t know if we will die today, or next week, or many years down the road. But for whatever amount of time we have left, we should feel assured that it is extremely unlikely that we’ll be killed by an assault rifle. But it’s not that unlikely. It’s becoming more real every day that we allow this violence to continue. If not you personally, then a family member, a friend, an acquaintance or another person who was in the “wrong place.” Like a McDonald’s or a shopping mall or a school…. There are many people to blame for this horrific situation. Too many to name here, but I’ll choose one. @realDonaldTrump. You can stop reading right now, or block me, or reply to me with hate or denial. I can’t stop you. I do still have the right to free speech. For now. @realDonaldTrump, you are responsible for the climate of the country. You took on the responsibility for each and every citizen when you pledged your oath. You swore to protect us and keep us safe from harm from both foreign and domestic threats. But you haven’t. You failed. You use your “rallies” to incite (Google it!) hate and violence and bodily harm. You encourage your base of uneducated, overcompensating sheep (sorry sheep 🐑!) to go out and do terrible things to innocent people. You rev them up, turn them loose, and the rest of us pay the price. You have the power to stop this. You can change gun laws, make penalties more harsh for crimes, tell your followers enough is enough. But will you? Probably not. Not when these headlines of the “tragedy of the day” keep your name on everyone’s lips. You’ll take bad publicity over no publicity because that’s just who you are. Sad. I didn’t sign up for this. I, like many others, did not vote for you. You are not qualified for this job. You don’t have empathy, compassion, a working knowledge of politics, or the willingness to learn or listen to anyone but yourself. Selfishness and ego are not traits that the highest position in the land requires or needs. So. Here I sit. Reading today’s news of 4 dead at a yoga studio and a shooter on the loose on a school campus. And it’s not even dawn yet. I find myself crying. Not for the first time, but as a near daily occurrence. I cry for what was, what is, and what could be.